Job Title: Production Floor Manager
Began working with Winona ORC: October 2009
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since you started working at Winona ORC? I was once the star of our company safety video thanks to my co-worker having the day off.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met at Winona ORC: I have worked with a variety of employees in many different settings. From an employee at Benchmark who will still look for me at WORC, to working with a deaf employee that even though I may not know sign language, we are able to communicate our needs to each other, and to another employee who calls me “Hooch the Pooch” because I have the same first name as Tom Hanks (Turner and Hooch movie).
What is your favorite thing about working at Winona ORC? The employees we serve and the appreciation for the opportunity to work at a job they enjoy.
What do you wish other people knew about Winona ORC? The variety of skills and abilities our employees posses.
What do you think will change about Winona ORC over the next five years? More employees will be working in the community.
What do you do when you aren’t at Winona ORC? Lately … playing Mario Kart with my daughter.
What is your first memory of Winona ORC? Being trained in at Peerless Chain, I believe it was the first site I was trained at.
Why do you support Winona ORC? I enjoy working with our employees and giving them opportunities they may not have at other places.
Department: Community Based Services
Title: Job Coach Lead
Began working: June 2018
What’s the best thing to happen to you since you started working at Winona ORC? Developing meaningful relationships with and forming connections with our amazing employees!
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met at Winona ORC: There hasn’t been a person who I haven’t enjoyed getting to work with. Everyone has off days, but the good days are amazing. The employees often tell you how much you mean to them.
What is your favorite thing about working at Winona ORC? Meeting and working with some amazing individuals and getting the opportunity to watch them thrive in the community and become more involved in places they like to work.
What do you wish other people knew about Winona ORC? All of the various opportunities that we offer in our building, as well as in the community.
What do you think will change in the next five years at Winona ORC? I hope that we will assist more individuals in finding their way to enjoyable employment and continue to improve the services we offer.
What do you do when you aren’t at Winona ORC? I like to read, play cards with my grandparents; in summer, I like to garden, go hiking/canoeing, play board games, spending time with my dog, sing in the church choir, spend time with family and friends.
What is your first memory of Winona ORC? My uncle, Terry, who is an employee here getting really excited, capping, and smiling really big when I told him I got hired here. He was always telling me I’d make a good Job Coach and that I should work here.
Why do you support Winona ORC? To help others gain meaningful employment in the community and allow them to feel like productive members of the community!
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and restrictions in place by Governor Walz and the Department of Human Services, Winona ORC Industries is closing its doors to employees (those we serve) beginning Thursday, March 19 and will end when the Department of Human Services deems it safe for our employees to return to work. This notice will be updated as Winona ORC learns more from Governor Walz and the DHS. Laundry and janitorial services will continue to be offered by Winona ORC staff; Winona ORC will update our employees and the public as needed. Thank you for continuing to support us during the pandemic.
Heidi S. Smith
Job Title: Director of Finance
Started: September 16, 2019
What the best thing to happen to you since you started working at Winona ORC? Everybody has been so welcoming and helpful.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met at Winona ORC? Everyone has been so friendly and happy to have me here.
What is your favorite thing about working at Winona ORC? Making a difference in the lives of our employees. They will be amazed at the work ethic and joy brought to their organization.
What do you think will change about Winona ORC over the next five years? How we serve our employees and where and how they will be employed.
What do you do when you aren’t at Winona ORC? Spending quality time with friend’s and family.
What is your first memory of Winona ORC? Buying mittens from Winona Knits and Mitts.
Why do you support Winona ORC? I believe in giving back to the community and empowering our employees.
Department: Day Training & Habilitation
Job Title: Job Coach
Started: May 2019
What’s the best thing to happen to you since you started working at Winona ORC? Learning that I can communicate on many levels with the clients.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met at Winona ORC: The employees are great to work with. They make you laugh and smile. The love to tell you how much they care!
What is your favorite thing about working at Winona ORC? Helping employees smile when they are having a rough day.
What do you wish other people knew about Winona ORC? It is a fabulous facility that gives disabled employees a chance for a life improvements and to acquire useful skills. We have a great shredding area and our prices are competitive.
What do you think will change about Winona ORC over the next five years? CBS – Community Based Services – will increase. Production and in-house will increase.
What do you do when you aren’t at Winona ORC? Spend time with my sister. Crafting, mainly crochet; I create my own patterns. Go to the YMCA and swim or workout. Attend the Peterson American Legion Auxiliary meetings and events. Watch my great nieces in their school activities.
What is your first memory of Winona ORC? Meeting an employee that had just celebrated 45 years with the ORC.
Why do you support Winona ORC? It is a worth business that helps clients get a little bit of independence.
Department: Day Training & Habilitation
Job Title: DT&H Manager
Started at Winona ORC: August 21, 2002
What’s the best thing to happen to you since you started working at Winona ORC? Being able to build so many meaningful relations that have impacted my life forever.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met at Winona ORC: I can’t just name a few. There are so many employees and staff with amazing dedication to this organization.
What is your favorite thing about working at Winona ORC? All the individuals I get to work alongside of. To watch people thrive, accomplish and be a part of the community is pretty great!
What do you wish other people knew about Winona ORC? All of the services we offer in the community and in our building. I have given many tours over the years and at the end of them, I always have someone say, “Wow, I had no idea all of this happens here!”
What do you think will change about Winona ORC over the next five years? It’s hard to say what will change in the next five years, especially at the Federal/State level. We can only take one day at a time and be hopeful that services will only continue to improve along the way.
What do you do when you aren’t at Winona ORC? When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am an avid MN Vikings fan and enjoy spending time with my dog, Dozer, in my flower beds, and relaxing by my Koi fish pond in the summer.
What is your first memory of Winona ORC? On my first day I was taken to Lourdes Hall (Winona State) where I was training to support individuals in their direct hire positions. I absolutely loved that job! After about six months, the individuals I was supporting didn’t need my assistance any longer as they were independent. I got to move on to another site that needed support. It was a great feeling and I look back on it often.
Why do you support Winona ORC? I support Winona ORC because I believe in our mission and vision.
Job Title: Director of Operations & Sales
Started at Winona ORC: 8/19/2019
What’s the best thing to happen to you since you started working at Winona ORC? Getting to know the amazing staff and employees that we have here at the ORC.
What is your favorite thing about Winona ORC? Seeing our staff support our mission here at Winona ORC and in the community!
What do you wish other people knew about Winona ORC? That through our mission, we educate, empower and employ! People with disabilities can benefit employers.
What do you think will changed about Winona ORC over the next five years? Seeing more employees working in competitive community employment.
What do you do when you are not at Winona ORC? Spending time with my family. <3
What is your first memory of Winona ORC? All the wonderful well wishes during my first few days here at ORC.
Why do you support Winona ORC? We truly make a difference in people’s lives. Seeing the pride and passion in our employees when they are working means so much to me.
Dear Employees, Support Staff of Employees and Family of Employees,
We have the utmost safety of our employees and patrons in mind and are asking your help to make this happen
With the winter weather knocking on our door and other concerns, we want to communicate with each of you our mission of safety for the employees. As a reminder if your home is in Lewiston, St. Charles, Wilson, Witoka, Ridgeway, Rollingstone, Stockton, Garvin Heights if Winona Area Public Schools are 2 hours delayed or canceled we will not pick up riders in this area. If WORC feel the conditions in some areas are not safe we will make the decision no less than 1 hour before the employee’s pick up time. If you decide to bring in the employee, you will be responsible for picking up the employee from WORC and transport home. If WORC is closing early due to declining weather we will call at least 1 hour prior to departure time from WORC. If there is alternate houses employees are to be taken to due to staffing at the employee’s house, please inform the Vocational Case Worker/DT&H Manager. If we are providing the services to DAC please contact Transportation/Safety Coordinator Denise Matejka.
We are asking at each of your homes that:
- All walkways employees use to get to the bus are cleared of snow and ice
- All wheelchair/walker employees must be escorted by house staff to and from the house
- If areas are not cleared and the driver feels that it is unsafe to load and unload the employees, ORC will call the house to ask for assistance from house staff to load and unload employees off the bus.
- If employee lives independently in a home or apartment and the areas are not cleared, we may refuse to pick up employee due to the safety of the employee being injured.
- Buses have a 5 minute wait period for employees at each of the houses. In order to have employees to their designated areas we need to make sure employees are ready prior to bus arriving. With roads declining in weather it is especially important we are not waiting and making other employees late getting to work and home from work.
- To help with employees who need to have a staff wave or staff come out to assist with clients, WORC transportation will honk upon arrival incase house staff is not near a window to see the bus. If staff does not wave or come out to assist, WORC will call to the house to inform.
- For people who are using the lift, whether they are in a walker or wheelchair, they must be able to ride the lift alone. The driver’s nor staff from the house can ride the lift with employees. If there becomes an issue of safety of employee’s riding the lift, the driver’s will inform Vocational Case Worker/ DT& H Manager. If we are providing services to DAC the driver will inform Transportation/Safety Coordinator Denise Matejka. The designated person will contact house staff of the concerns to trouble shoot how to ensure the safety of the employee.
- If your employee needs to start using the lift due to physical issues, it must be confirmed with Transportation/Safety Coordinator before employee can use.
- Due to increased amount of walkers and canes and people’s ability to maneuver in the bus, there may be seating arrangements for employees for their safety.
- To make sure there is not bottles or wrappers or other tripping hazards there is no eating or drinking on the buses. The only thing that will be allowed is 1 water bottle that has a cap or closed. Water bottles must be inside of backpack or in a jacket so hands are free to use hand rails. Water bottles attached to backpacks are not allowed due to hitting other people while moving backpack.
- Employees are only allowed one bag, that zips shut or can be tied shut on the bus due to space and objects that could become tripping hazards or flying objects. If employee’s are being picked up and taken for groceries or other personal needs during the work time, these will be need to be picked up by house staff or taken by the provider who took them.
- Please contact Denise Matejka at 452-1855 ext:111, if you would like to be on the call list if Winona Area Public schools is closed or 2 hour delay due to weather and we will not be picking up the employee. We understand not everyone will get the information of school closings and we are more than happy to have you on the call list.
WORC takes pride in our mission of ensuring the safety of all clients we transport. We want all clients to feel safe while in our care on our transportation. To ensure this we need your help and communication to continue our mission of safety.
Heidi Smith Denise Matejka
Executive Director Transportation/Safety Coordinator